Off the field McCovey is no tiger at all.
"The most strenuous thing he does off the baseball field," says Salty Parker, "is breathe."
In San Francisco, McCovey lives at the Booker T. Washington Hotel in the Fillmore district.
"I'm trying to find him an apartment near my place," says Willie Kirkland, "so he can use my car. I've got two sets of keys. But I haven't been able to find him one yet."
McCovey's special buddies on the Giants are Kirkland and Leon Wagner, both former teammates in the. minors. Apparently the three are destined to be joined together—as long as batting averages and the option rule permit—by their shared love for two of a ballplayer's most vital necessities: food and the movies.
Last week the three of them saw Last Train from Gun Hill and No Name on the Bullet, not to mention an assorted half dozen shoot-'em-ups on TV. For McCovey, who frequently ran out of westerns along about Wednesday each week in Phoenix, San Francisco, with its dozen downtown movie houses, is a paradise.
"Sometimes," Wagner says, "we play westerns. You know, drawing on one another. McCovey comes up behind and he shouts 'Ringo.' I turn around and he says, 'Put up your hands,' I put up my hands and he shoots me. He don't give me a chance, man.
"He cool," Wagner says. "He cool! Coolest first baseman in baseball."
"He's quiet," Kirkland says, "but the three of us have a lot of fun."
"He's quiet," Wagner agrees, "but he's a real joker around me and Kirkland. I think he's just happy to be up here with us. We call us 'The Big Three.'